Dear friends: hereby my report concerning the Waldzell meeting 2008 in Melk in Austria, September 18-21,2008



This report is not for the weak of heart or those who believe that harmony is the only key. For those who believe in harmony and good intentions Waldzell 2008 probably was a great event. It was important for me, but for entirely different reasons, some very personal and introspectively. So bear with me, I wrote this for myself and my friends who were present and a wider circle that could not. So it’s a personal account, not a journalistic one. But do share it, or comment if you like.


The Waldzell meeting has the stated mission: Waldzell inspires people to leverage their full potential. Guidance is found in old wisdom, the rich knowledge of primitive people and the findings of modern science. Inspiration is found in art. We strive for a deep understanding which can offer a solid foundation for sustainable integration in our everyday life. Gained insight should be made available to all people and be utilized by business, education and politics.


It’s an ambitious and somewhat elitist and do-gooders gathering in an impressive abbey near Vienna with 150 invitation-only participants and a rather steep fee.


After attending the Waldzell meeting it took me a few days to digest and a visit to Vanja Palmers and Brother David’s Hause der Stille was a great help. A great place in the Alps to rethink the emotions and empty the mind to come back to the center. Another interesting meeting in Vienna was with village-ecologist Franz Nahrada and a rad-ritual of the Keyserling group, where I spoke with Willy Keyserling, the widow of Arnold, who was a very lucid visionary that introduced new age thinking in central Europe and elsewhere.


To put it in perspective, I needed that badly, as Waldzell definitely didn’t live up to my expectations. It was a meeting where too many people came to prove something, themselves or their theories. I realized, and that in itself is an inspiration, that to prove oneself or one’s ideas is not particularly fruitful. It takes a lot of time and yields no insights, and yes I myself do like to play that game too. So in that respect Waldzell was a mirror and as me and my friends are planning some kind of academy with similar goals, bringing spirituality and science together in an original wisdom setting, it was a good lesson.


I was hoping to meet great teachers and inspiring people and in a way I did, but it was a bit superfcial. What about the root causes of the mess this world is in, solving “old problems” like most of the socalled “architects of the future” at the meeting do by social entrepreneurship, is in a way just taking care of symptoms. What are the deeper, more general concerns, what are the root causes of our current problems. Before I came to Waldzell I prepared a note on this, pointing at fear and defusing fear (see


Coming to Waldzell I believed Herman Hesse’s Glasperlenspiel was the core inspiration, a meeting of elite students (of life) and some “worldly” guests. Could this be the place to find new connections, a new coherence, a bridge between those dualistic notions in myself and in the world, between science and spirituality? Although, there was this nagging thought about Joseph Knecht, the magister ludi who at the end gave up Kastalia and Waldzell to reenter the real world, being tired of the empty form he gradually experienced.

Hesse starts the book with a translation of a latin text:


‘…nichts entzieht sich der Darstellung durch Worte so sehr und nicht ist doch notwendiger, den Menschen vor Augen zu stellen, als gewisse Dinge, deren Existenz weder beweisbar noch wahrscheinlich ist, welche aber eben dadurch, dasz fromme und gewissenhafte Menschen sie gewissermaszen als seiende Dinge behandeln, dem Sein und der Moeglichkeit des Geborenwerdens um einen Schritt naeher gefuehrt werden.’


Now in this text it becomes clear that there are “things” one cannot prove but if they are treated as real, can help to come closer to understanding and being. And there are those things, whether we call them new science or telepathy, belief or spiritual awareness, and our world is in dire need to work with them.


But what did I see? Once more, as this is what I noticed so clearly, many people not only trying to prove that such things are possible or even likely, but trying to prove themselves in the process. What a waste of energy, what a waste of possibilities, in many a lecture the ego-trip was all there was. And don’t take this as a negative judgement, I can see that through the egocentric stories or the self serving and sometimes pedantic comments shine talents and great analytic minds. But scoring ego-points is not what breeds understanding and growth. Neither does unconditional support and acceptance. Love is the key, but dialog and Socratic confrontation is what Waldzell needed and mostly lacked. I liked the motto of Nina Martinovic, one of the participants; “No that’s worth a thousand Yes”. Where was the official coyote, the advocate of the devil, using Wolf Singer as the odd-man out wasn’t enough and a bit unfair too. John DeMartini would have been a great antidote to the complacency, as moderator or debater, and would I like to challenge him and be happy to loose the argument too!


There were great moments, no doubt, and combining the thoughts and insights of Bruce Lipton, Don Hoffman and Rupert Sheldrake helped me a lot to hone my picture of what the new sciences can do and not do. Wolf Singer was a rational contrapunkt in this. I did spend some time with him in my role as telepathic/ clearknowing medium and was allowed to see that his “rational” stance and defence of the scientific method are just one layer of a sensitive and honest human with great talents.

Combining their insights and honouring their audacity I realised that reality as we see it is just an illusion as the old wisdom taught us through the ages, but that science now supports that. Truth is subjective, survival and efficacy more important than the truth or deep reality. So science and the physical world are illusions anyway, and when Rupert then challenges the laws of nature he leaps far beyond his now somewhat stale morphogenetic fields. What if he would focus on using the capacity of the mind (or rather consciousness) to actually change our world (perceived or real) and not spending so much time trying to prove what we all know at some level. The same goes for Don Hofmann, using socalled scientific methods to test Paramahamsa Prajnanananda didn’t yield any result. Why spend energy to convince the scientific world of something that lies in another realm, a dimension were intention is paramount and just proving or disproving paranormal powers has little meaning. I told him that asking real questions, not experimenting but asking for real answers would yield meaningful results and I am willing to cooperate, but not as a guinea pig. Look at or  for an example, data obtained by esoteric (dowsing) means, but meaningful because of the structure and methodology. Use the powers of “gifted” people to choose between the various models for string theory, to find the root causes of many diseases etc. Progress very often results from unexplainable incidents or accidents, Albert Hofmann’s LSD and Newton’s apple among them. Ask the children of this world, the young ones, the old ones who retained or freed that deep inner part like Albert Hofmann and those we put away in asylums what their dreams and realities are, there we might find new answers and new bridges. Science based on fear only yields more fear, and I am sorry to say that ecology now fast becomes a fear-based science and not an act of love and connection to our surroundings.


John DeMartini was an inspiration, not because his rather American and egoboosting fast talking approach that reminded me of the NLP evangelists, but because his underlying worldview, cosmology and psychological models were so “rounded” and deep. A stage therapist, at first site a snake oil salesman and that was, alas, the impression he made on the public at the Vienna presentation Sunday evening, where his English was too fast. His presentation there felt aimed at the Waldzell founder Gundula, who obviously has been under a lot of pressure. But on another level I really appreciate that he not only preached and promoted his mind-changing approach to value systems and beliefs, but did engage. I noticed he not only criticized one of the speakers, but actively confronted and used his somewhat intense method to open her eyes for the underlying value systems and beliefs. So, a man to watch, at slow-motion though.


There were other inspiring speakers, but not many, too many messages I have heard before, like the whole feminist rap, did I understand well that Obama should win because he has developed his feminine side so well? I think that McCain will win exactly because of all this new agey support for Obama, in times of crisis fear rules and supporting that fear actually supports and feeds the other side. Woman’s circles are a great idea, but as old as the world and why not learn from those men’s circles through history, from round tables to Masonic lodges. And if we face an even more serious crisis in the future, we need leaders with male energy. It’s nice to hope for more male/female integration, but isn’t the dominant model in society (and genetics and theology) a result of external and environmental circumstance, as Bruce Lipton so eloquently put. He made clear that our genetic traces show we went though major challenges before, but did survive because our DNA adapted. We face another major challenge now, but should free ourselves from the beliefs and models we inherited from our parents, the world. Bruce made clear we are free, that our genes (DNA) will follow us, we are masters of our development if we can see that we can choose our environment, the genes have enormous capacity to adapt. Not slaves of the value systems we absorbed in our hypnagogic early childhood, but masters of our future. He was inspiring, pointing at biological micro-processes that are as creative as the most advanced human mind, that we are as humans a mere collection, an aggregate and intentional cooperation of those trillions of cells, just as society is an aggregate of billions of humans. A sobering thought, but he turned that into inspiration, into a call to courage. John DeMartini added the psychological insight and pointed at tools to actually change our belief systems.



For the rest, Waldzell was a bit boring for me, it died in harmony and begging for money. It was all so politically correct, so nice, so well thought out, so quasi perfect, up to the nice mix of races and colours on the podium, giving everybody lots of support, allowing the public to support their hero’s and sometimes overtly publicise their own cause. I was disappointed in the quality of questions, as I hoped this would be an audience that would dare to disagree, to discuss, but most of what the floor added was appraisal and irrelevant personal comments. The many spiritual people around were nice, made the atmosphere kind and graceful, but on stage added little to make the motto “The time is now” a reality. In personal contacts they were great and inspiring though and that’s a great contribution too. I made a trip with Father Martin to visit the most holy place in the Abbey church, the spot were the poorest and most needy peasant would hide in the back of the church. That’s were the core message of Melk Stift hit my personal motto: “I am only different as I have not yet learned to be the same.”


Now I understand that not all the participants can be of the same level, but wasn’t that what was implied by what looked like a selection-process? That in fact most of the participants did not pay the rather high fee and I got the impression were there as friends of the organisers and indeed a claque. The moderators did their best, but could not hide the fact that most relevant comments came from a few of the speakers, not from the participants.


Now I could give many examples of where the meeting kind of put form over content, harmony before dialogue or dissent, material and even monetary concerns before spirit and cooperation. I will only mention the strange paradox of accusing media in general of manipulation and at the same time allowing severe media overkill, the photographers and camera people were so dominantly present even at the ritual and sensitive moments, that it was hard to take one’s mask off.


And taking our masks off, showing our true self, in all vulnerability and in a playful spirit is what brings about progress, growth and love. The world is already full of formal conferences, where people go by the book and were one agrees to agree, where we have standing ovations for mediocre performances, where the thing dies in harmony.


I don’t want to be negative about those young kids doing their best in the Architect of the Future program, but I have seen lots of intelligent and inspired projects elsewhere, I don’t need to travel to Melk to see another bunch of social entrepreneurs invited as token proof of the generosity of the organisation. They were fine people tackling real problems, but not architects of the future, not visionaries outlining the problems of the future, not architects shaping the structure and underpinning of our future world. If one wants to give some young outsiders access to what the Waldzell meeting really could be, great, but don’t spend half a day and a lot of energy giving them a platform to sell themselves and their ideas and in fact seek financial or other support. The same goes for the journalists of the future, I wasn’t impressed with what came out of that, nice to have some kids around, but there are good schools to learn journalism and there were enough professionals around anyway.  



In short, Waldzell is, in my most negative mood, a dead duck, I guess financially as well as spiritually, it has served certain purposes for a while, like Waldzell in Hesse’s book did, but has now feels to me like an institution that mostly serves the ego’s and material ambitions of participants and organisers.


I do hope, in my positive mood,  that the great contacts and interpersonal communication I (and I hope we all) took back from the Waldzell meeting 2008 will help us to grow and develop, that the inspiration that will bear fruit and action.


All this is not an easy message and I hesitated, rewrote and adapted it, but here it is. As I believe in perfection in everything, the world and our lives being a great school, Waldzell was and is also a perfect lesson in many respects, for which I thank all that took part in the experience.

Luc Sala